State Board of Education seeks to put more nurses in schools

SNOW HILL, N.C. (WNCT) – The North Carolina Board of Education meets Wednesday to set its priorities for the General Assembly in its upcoming session. One of these items would put more nurses in your kids’ schools.

The national recommendation is one nurse for every 750 students, yet North Carolina far exceeds that, with a ratio of one nurse to more than 1,100 students.

Here in the East, some school systems have numbers even higher than that.

Carteret County Schools has one nurse for every 1,200 students. The ratio in Lenoir County Schools is one nurse to 1,287 students. Onslow County Schools has a ratio of one nurse to more than 1,236 students. Beaufort County Schools’ ratio is one to 1,175. Pitt County’s ratio is one nurse to 1,190 students.

Some local school districts do pretty well. Craven County’s ratio is one to 595. Greene County also meets national recommendations, with a ratio of one to 640. Yet, those numbers are system-wide. So at some schools, they only have one nurse for 1,000 students.

Lead nurse Kathy Dail said the need is greater now than ever before.

“The medical needs, chronic health conditions, specialized healthcare needs have increased tremendously in the past 4 decades. So there’s a lot more medical needs for students and so we need the increased number of nurses,” Dail said.

It’s recommended to have one nurse for every 250 students with chronic health needs.

The State Board of Education meets in Raleigh Wednesday at 9 a.m.

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